Ask Kim - How Do I Save While Doing My Laundry?

Here at® we try our best to make sure everyone can find answers to their energy questions. That's the inspiration behind our Ask Kim series. In this episode, Kim addresses a question posed by Susan in Plano, Texas, who's interested in finding ways to save energy while doing her laundry. If you have a question you'd like to Ask Kim, just go to our Contact Us page!

Hi this is Kim from here to answer your energy savings questions. Today's question comes from Susan in Plano, TX, who asks, "How do I save energy while doing my laundry?"

The most effective way to save energy, and money, is by making sure your appliances are energy efficient. A washer with the ENERGY STAR label can use 20% less energy and 35% less water than regular washers. You should know that you won't find the ENERGY STAR label on dryers because they all use about the same amount of energy. You should however look for features such as a moisture sensor so that the dyer automatically turns off when the load is dry.

Whether you buy new, energy efficient appliances, or even if you can't afford that investment right now, there are plenty of other things you can do to save on your laundry costs.

  • Use cold water instead of hot or even warm water. Many detergents nowadays are even formulated for cold water washing.
  • Don't use the dryer if you don't have to. Not only will you save on energy costs by hanging your clothes on a line or a rack, your clothes will last longer because the fibers won't be super-heated in the dryer.

If you don't want to go to this extreme, be sure to dry loads one after the other so you can harness the dryer's heat from one load to help dry the next.

  • Always wash full loads. You're using the same amount of electricity for a half load as a full load, but you'll wind up doing more loads every week.
  • Clean out the lint filter after every load. A dryer duct that is mostly blocked with link can double the amount of energy needed to dry your clothes. Not to mention it's a fire hazard!

For more energy saving tips, visit or send us your energy savings questions. See you next time!

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